As is my usual habit with our reading clubs, I thought I would take a look at a few previous reads from the year; and a quick trawl of the piles I pulled off the shelves revealed these lovelies:

There’s quite a range of different texts there, and interestingly almost all of them are titles I read pre-blog. C.S. Lewis was a huge favourite when I was a child – I loved the Narnia books – and as a young adult went on to enjoy his adult fictions. I’ve still to revisit them – one day… Ed McBain made an appearance here yesterday, and I’ve read all of his books; I’d love to revisit more, including the other two 1956 titles, but I suspect I will run out of time…

The Mishima and Baldwin titles are ones I discoved more recently, in my 40s, and both are fine works which again I would love to have the time to go back to. The Maigret I considered re-reading, as I often choose one of Simenon‘s works for our reading weeks; but the story felt too familiar, having made an appearance on the blog in one of my early, amateurish posts, and so I decided against it in the end.

As for Mervyn Peake, this wonderful collection of his work includes the short story “Boy in Darkness”; a strange and disturbing work, first published in a sci fi anthology, it tells a dark tale of a boy who may or may not be Titus Groan and a disconcerting encounter. I remember it as being odd and unsettling and I confess to being tempted to sit down and read this whole collection again.

However, one book I would really like to highlight is “Every Eye” by Isobel English; this is a lovely Persephone release which I read just before starting the Ramblings, and it’s one of my favourite from the publisher. A short and evocative work at just 119 pages, the narrative tells the story of one woman’s life in alternating sections; looking back at her past and evaluating how she has got to where she is currently, it’s a compelling story with a killer last line (*don’t* ever cheat by looking at it) and I so recommend it. I would love to read it again for 1956, but I think time will be against me. A really great novel(la) and one of Persephone’s finest!

So – those are a few of my previous reads from 1956. Have you read any of these? Which books from the year remain in your mind and your heart?